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Rabies

Contact Island County Public Health if you suspect you have been exposed to a rabid animal such as a bat or dog.  Rabies is a severe viral disease that affects the central nervous system. It is almost always fatal. All warm-blooded mammals including humans are susceptible to rabies.

​The primary animals that carry rabies in the northwest United States are bats. Between 5-10% of bats submitted for testing are found to be rabid. Bats tested for rabies are more likely to test positive for rabies because they tend to be sick and injured bats; less than 1% of all bats in the wild are infected with rabies. Rabid bats have been found in almost every county in Washington.

While rabid raccoons, skunks, foxes or coyotes have not been identified in Washington, the virus can be transmitted from bats to these mammals. In other parts of the United States, Canada, and Mexico, rabies may also be carried by raccoons, skunks, foxes or coyotes. In developing countries worldwide, dogs are the principal carriers of rabies.​​


Helpful Resources

Washington State Department of Health - Rabies​

Centers for Di​se​ase Control and Prevention - Rabies